With the arrival of summer comes the firing up of grills, the application of sunscreen and the return of avid golfers to their beloved pristine greens. Many local courses have spruced up in anticipation for the 2016 Ryder Cup, a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from the United States and Europe, which will be held at the Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska this September. Here’s your guide to golfing the southwest metro.
Bearpath Golf & Country Club
The 18-hole and 72 par Bearpath Golf & Country Club course features a unique design courtesy of Jack Nicklaus, the retired American professional golfer widely regarded as the greatest pro golfer of all time. General manager Greg Olson loves that the golf course is one that low-handicapped and high-handicapped players have enjoyed playing for more than 19 years.
Bent Creek Golf Club
Bent Creek, an 18-hole course designed to host golfers of all ages and playing levels, boasts some of the finest greens of any golf course in the metro area and is proud to announce that 44 of its members will be marshalling the 18th hole at the Ryder Cup. “The marshalls are responsible for crowd control and security, as well as some ball spotting,” says Bent Creek general manager Michele Russell. “If it goes to 18, it gets very exciting.”
Chaska Par 30
Chaska Par 30 clubhouse manager Will Armstrong touts the mind behind the course’s design as one of its most unique qualities. The nine-hole, par 30 course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, the same architect who designed the Hazeltine National Golf Course, where the 2016 Ryder Cup will be held. The course often closes when tournaments come to town (including during this year’s Ryder Cup), to allow professionals time to practice. Plus, Chaska Par 30 recently introduced “kick golf” where kids kick off from the tee with a soccer ball, and play through the course as they would a regular round of golf.
Chaska Town Course
“A lot of people have a hard time believing we’re a municipal golf course because it’s so nice,” says Chaska Town Course head golf professional John Kellin. The 18-hole championship golf course has a full driving range, putting green and short game practice area. The Chaska Town Course co-hosted the U.S. Amateur Tournament with Hazeltine in 2006.
Dahlgreen Golf Club
Dahlgreen Golf Club is a championship 18-hole golf course five miles west of Chaska, and general manager Dave Tessman is looking forward to welcoming even more golfers than usual next fall. Tessman hopes to extend the fun even after the Ryder Cup closes, and invites players to the Dahlgreen Golf Club-sponsored annual Frosty Pumpkin golf tournament, which is scheduled for the end of October.
Deer Run Golf Club
“Deer Run Golf Club keeps the charm of the past with the best of the modern world,” says Tom Abts, general manager of the championship 18-hole par 71 course. The clubhouse is built from an old farmhouse and includes an Irish pub, a porch and a sunroom that overlooks the 18th green. The course’s natural beauty, courtesy of lakes and varied elevation, makes it a special course to play, with a level that Abts describes as “sort of like the Wednesday crossword puzzle; not easy but not impossible.”
Not only is Halla Greens a nine-hole, executive course, it is also home to The Golf Channel Academy. The academy helps those players looking to improve their game, and the Chanhassen course advertises itself as perfect for those beginning the game of golf while still presenting enough of a challenge for those players who play a lot of golf.
“Our goal is to always provide the best possible conditions for golfers to enjoy,” says Dave Kirkbride, general manager of the course. “I don’t believe you will find a nine-hole public golf facility kept in better shape or a driving range with better grass to hit from on a regular basis.”
Hazeltine National Golf Club
“Hazeltine National is the major championship venue of the Midwest,” says assistant golf professional of the course Nick Sage. The 18-hole course spans 180 of the 300 acres owned by the club and sits nestled around Lake Hazeltine. The course has hosted championships since 1966, including U.S. Opens, Women’s Opens, PGA Championships and Team and Amateur Championships. Following the 2016 Ryder Cup, Hazeltine will be one of only two courses that have hosted the Ryder Cup, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Men’s Open, the U.S. Women’s Open, the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Amateur championships.
Island View Golf Club
“Our course condition and course layout is the best kept secret in the west metro,” says PGA head golf professional Dan Callahan of the 18-hole, par 72 course. Callahan points to the course’s tree-lined fairways and well-placed bunkers as evidence of a great course for golfers of all ability levels. Island View is a member-owned course, but allows for non-member play. “Island View will be a great spot for players to come play during the Ryder Cup,” Callahan says.
Olympic Hills Golf Club
Manager Peter Eaton is proud that the summer of 2015 marked the first half summer of play on the updated Olympic Hills golf course. The renovation, which lasted almost two full years after it began in September 2013, resulted in a completely renovated course, brand-new parking lot, and many upgrades in the clubhouse.